Aug 23, 2009
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I have read opinions here about which is better of these two, but I havent read anything about combining them.

what I've gathered is that pass program is more about the concepts, the big picture etc., whereas kaplan goes in to more detail.

my question is, in which order should I watch them (I have both sets of videos)?

I'm also wondering if anyone has read the book that you get with pass program (dissecting the boards usmle step 1,2,3), and if you think it is worth buying?
 
Apr 13, 2010
253
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I have read opinions here about which is better of these two, but I havent read anything about combining them.

what I've gathered is that pass program is more about the concepts, the big picture etc., whereas kaplan goes in to more detail.

my question is, in which order should I watch them (I have both sets of videos)?

I'm also wondering if anyone has read the book that you get with pass program (dissecting the boards usmle step 1,2,3), and if you think it is worth buying?
Go through Kaplan first, you can trust the Kaplan guys but you can not trust Dr Francis, he doesnt have PHd in biochem or pharm to give you a clear explanation in some parts and makes mistakes. this way you will be able to call his BS.
dont get me wrong though, Dr Francis teaching methods are great nonetheless, its just...he makes mistakes every now and then and if you are familiar with the material you will know what to pick and what not from PASS.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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If you are going to do both sets of videos, I would do pass first as it gives you some easier guidelines and tricks to go off of to answer alot of the questions, while kaplan plays it safer, and ultimately has more reliable information.

I have seen both sets of videos (kaplan a couple of times) and I think they both have very much to offer. Pass focuses alot on thinking the way you need to think for medicine, and the videos (at least dr. francis) are very engaging. Kaplan is the tried and true series that people watch, and is good in the sense it really covers everything from top to bottom.

I did things in the reverse order, in that i watched all of kaplan, and did their qbank, and than later watched pass. I got alot out of the programs this way, but if i were to do it all again, I would watch pass first.

I can understand that some people don't like pass very much, but if you have time i would say you should watch it. Neither of these video series would make you not still need first aid, but i think it helps to get information from different sources to help solidify all the concepts in your head.

I have read opinions here about which is better of these two, but I havent read anything about combining them.

what I've gathered is that pass program is more about the concepts, the big picture etc., whereas kaplan goes in to more detail.

my question is, in which order should I watch them (I have both sets of videos)?

I'm also wondering if anyone has read the book that you get with pass program (dissecting the boards usmle step 1,2,3), and if you think it is worth buying?
 
Apr 13, 2010
253
1
England
Status
Medical Student
If you are going to do both sets of videos, I would do pass first as it gives you some easier guidelines and tricks to go off of to answer alot of the questions, while kaplan plays it safer, and ultimately has more reliable information.

I have seen both sets of videos (kaplan a couple of times) and I think they both have very much to offer. Pass focuses alot on thinking the way you need to think for medicine, and the videos (at least dr. francis) are very engaging. Kaplan is the tried and true series that people watch, and is good in the sense it really covers everything from top to bottom.

I did things in the reverse order, in that i watched all of kaplan, and did their qbank, and than later watched pass. I got alot out of the programs this way, but if i were to do it all again, I would watch pass first.

I can understand that some people don't like pass very much, but if you have time i would say you should watch it. Neither of these video series would make you not still need first aid, but i think it helps to get information from different sources to help solidify all the concepts in your head.
you see I did both video sets in your suggested way and I would not do that again as dr francis gave me some misconceptions which than had to be corrected by kaplan videos, which is taught by experts in their respective fields.
I do love dr francis' way of teaching and his videos, but there is stuff he doesnt understand himself, he makes that clear.
for example: he doesnt understand that steroid hormones have a longer half-life because they have binding-proteins, he thinks they have a longer half-life just because they are lipid soluble and can penetrate membranes and hang around longer in cells like adipocytes. I mean come on, Kaplan teaches that only free (activated) forms can penetrate membranes and in their free form they have a shorter half life; usually they are bound to binding globulins (carrier proteins), this gives them a longer half-life.

so if you need to get a good grip of the usmle syllabus, I would advise kaplan first.
but if you know the material and want to know how to apply your knowledge go for PASS.

but like the previous poster, I gained a lot from both video sets and think that the test-taking skills you get taught in PASS is the most amazing part of the whole program.
 

whereintheworld

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May 22, 2009
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I also have both sets of videos, and I'm doing PASS first, because I feel like afterward I can hit the ground running and feel like I know what's going on a little better. I just get overwhelmed with kaplan. As for the book, I bought the new version, and I don't think it's worth what they charge for it, so I'm including a link for you to look at an older version online.
 
Feb 20, 2010
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you see I did both video sets in your suggested way and I would not do that again as dr francis gave me some misconceptions which than had to be corrected by kaplan videos, which is taught by experts in their respective fields.
I do love dr francis' way of teaching and his videos, but there is stuff he doesnt understand himself, he makes that clear.
for example: he doesnt understand that steroid hormones have a longer half-life because they have binding-proteins, he thinks they have a longer half-life just because they are lipid soluble and can penetrate membranes and hang around longer in cells like adipocytes. I mean come on, Kaplan teaches that only free (activated) forms can penetrate membranes and in their free form they have a shorter half life; usually they are bound to binding globulins (carrier proteins), this gives them a longer half-life.

so if you need to get a good grip of the usmle syllabus, I would advise kaplan first.
but if you know the material and want to know how to apply your knowledge go for PASS.

but like the previous poster, I gained a lot from both video sets and think that the test-taking skills you get taught in PASS is the most amazing part of the whole program.

So let me see if I understand you correctly you think that steroids binding to albumin, SHBG, etc. are more responsible for half life than volume of distribution???? I'm not sure I'd agree with that...though I'd have to reference it and I'm in the middle of blocks right now. Strictly from a physiologically standpoint I'd say you misunderstood what the Kaplan instructor said...they often leave information out as well.

No one source is flawless and all encompassing. I have heard Goljan and Kaplan both say erroneous things on multiple occasions. That's why people are right to study more than one resource if it is available. That being said, When it comes reasoning skills and clinical application of the basic sciences no source is even in the same realm as Dr. Francis. I think that is why you hear more errors in what Francis states (hydromas in Monosomy X, Liquefactive necrosis, etc)...Pass program's biggest strength, logical deduction, is also it's biggest weakness.

Ideally do Kaplan's Basic sciences 1st, then do Pass, then finish up with Kaplan Pathology 2007 (much better than the new 2010 videos), 2010 Kaplan Pharm & Micro (which in my opinion sucks but what are you gonna do) and Goljan with his Notes open/book in hand.
 
Apr 13, 2010
253
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So let me see if I understand you correctly you think that steroids binding to albumin, SHBG, etc. are more responsible for half life than volume of distribution???? I'm not sure I'd agree with that...though I'd have to reference it and I'm in the middle of blocks right now. Strictly from a physiologically standpoint I'd say you misunderstood what the Kaplan instructor said...they often leave information out as well.

No one source is flawless and all encompassing. I have heard Goljan and Kaplan both say erroneous things on multiple occasions. That's why people are right to study more than one resource if it is available. That being said, When it comes reasoning skills and clinical application of the basic sciences no source is even in the same realm as Dr. Francis. I think that is why you hear more errors in what Francis states (hydromas in Monosomy X, Liquefactive necrosis, etc)...Pass program's biggest strength, logical deduction, is also it's biggest weakness.

Ideally do Kaplan's Basic sciences 1st, then do Pass, then finish up with Kaplan Pathology 2007 (much better than the new 2010 videos), 2010 Kaplan Pharm & Micro (which in my opinion sucks but what are you gonna do) and Goljan with his Notes open/book in hand.
my thought exactly. regarding steroids, if they are bound to their respective binding proteins they do hang around longer. if they are free, they could penetrate membranes and get used up quickly.
I would be happy if you could prove me wrong, seriously.
I agree that PASS is amazing in terms of reasoning and made the difference for me when it comes to answer questions.
 
Nov 25, 2010
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I agree that PASS is amazing in terms of reasoning and made the difference for me when it comes to answer questions.

i believe you have mentioned this in your other posts. can you give a few examples of what you mean?
 
Apr 13, 2010
253
1
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Medical Student
i believe you have mentioned this in your other posts. can you give a few examples of what you mean?
sure I try to give a few examples.
dr francis will tell you not to get bogged down in details when you are presented with a question, instead find out weather they are after a concept or sth specific. the other day I did 20 question on inflammation (Robbins Review of Path) and got 19 out of 20. my friend who's rank is a lot higher in medschool got a few wrong and it was rly interesting how he fell into the trap of trying to consider all the details in a question.

one of the questions:
53 year-old female, high fever with cough productive of yellowish sputum for the past 2 days, auscultation reveals crackles in both lung bases, x-ray reveals bilateral patch infiltrates.
which of the following cell types will be greatly increased in a sputum specimen?
a) macrophages
b) neutrophils
c) mast cells
d) small lymphocytes
e) langerhans giant cells

while my colleague got caught up in yellowish sputum etc, I just saw the concept acute vs chronic inflammation and picked neutrophils, thats the thinking dr francis drills in.


biochem questions:
researcher looks into antibody structures etc, looking specifically into the hinge region. which of the following amino acid is most abudnant in the hinge region leading to its flexibility?

a) Glycine
b) Leucine
c) Phenylalanine
d) Valine
e) Cysteine
f) Proline
g) Tryptophan
h) Isoleucine

A: proline (concept that proline gives any molecular structure flexibility, be it DNA, Antibody etc)


researcher looks into antibody structures etc, looking specifically into the hinge region. which of the following amino acids gives the hinge region its strength?

a) Glycine
b) Leucine
c) Phenylalanine
d) Valine
e) Cysteine
f) Proline
g) Tryptophan
h) Isoleucine

A: cysteine (concept that cysteine gives any structure strenght, hair, hormones, any type of protein)



histones are proteins that package DNA into structures called nucleosomes, which of the following amino acids is most abundant in the core histone H2B?

a) Glycine and Leucine
b) Phenylalanine and Valine
c) Lysin and Arginine
d) Cysteine and Proline

find the concept?


just imagine these 3 questions with plenty of details to confuse you and they can be formulated in thousands of ways but if you got the concept down you ignore the details.
 
Nov 25, 2010
25
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sure I try to give a few examples.
dr francis will tell you not to get bogged down in details when you are presented with a question, instead find out weather they are after a concept or sth specific. the other day I did 20 question on inflammation (Robbins Review of Path) and got 19 out of 20. my friend who's rank is a lot higher in medschool got a few wrong and it was rly interesting how he fell into the trap of trying to consider all the details in a question.

one of the questions:
53 year-old female, high fever with cough productive of yellowish sputum for the past 2 days, auscultation reveals crackles in both lung bases, x-ray reveals bilateral patch infiltrates.
which of the following cell types will be greatly increased in a sputum specimen?
a) macrophages
b) neutrophils
c) mast cells
d) small lymphocytes
e) langerhans giant cells

while my colleague got caught up in yellowish sputum etc, I just saw the concept acute vs chronic inflammation and picked neutrophils, thats the thinking dr francis drills in.


biochem questions:
researcher looks into antibody structures etc, looking specifically into the hinge region. which of the following amino acid is most abudnant in the hinge region leading to its flexibility?

a) Glycine
b) Leucine
c) Phenylalanine
d) Valine
e) Cysteine
f) Proline
g) Tryptophan
h) Isoleucine

A: proline (concept that proline gives any molecular structure flexibility, be it DNA, Antibody etc)


researcher looks into antibody structures etc, looking specifically into the hinge region. which of the following amino acids gives the hinge region its strength?

a) Glycine
b) Leucine
c) Phenylalanine
d) Valine
e) Cysteine
f) Proline
g) Tryptophan
h) Isoleucine

A: cysteine (concept that cysteine gives any structure strenght, hair, hormones, any type of protein)



histones are proteins that package DNA into structures called nucleosomes, which of the following amino acids is most abundant in the core histone H2B?

a) Glycine and Leucine
b) Phenylalanine and Valine
c) Lysin and Arginine
d) Cysteine and Proline

find the concept?


just imagine these 3 questions with plenty of details to confuse you and they can be formulated in thousands of ways but if you got the concept down you ignore the details.

thanks.
 

cliffsMD

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Feb 11, 2011
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you see I did both video sets in your suggested way and I would not do that again as dr francis gave me some misconceptions which than had to be corrected by kaplan videos, which is taught by experts in their respective fields.
I do love dr francis' way of teaching and his videos, but there is stuff he doesnt understand himself, he makes that clear.
for example: he doesnt understand that steroid hormones have a longer half-life because they have binding-proteins, he thinks they have a longer half-life just because they are lipid soluble and can penetrate membranes and hang around longer in cells like adipocytes. I mean come on, Kaplan teaches that only free (activated) forms can penetrate membranes and in their free form they have a shorter half life; usually they are bound to binding globulins (carrier proteins), this gives them a longer half-life.

so if you need to get a good grip of the usmle syllabus, I would advise kaplan first.
but if you know the material and want to know how to apply your knowledge go for PASS.

but like the previous poster, I gained a lot from both video sets and think that the test-taking skills you get taught in PASS is the most amazing part of the whole program.
Wow I actually found someone who agrees with me to do Kaplan first then do Pass due to the mistakes that Dr. Francis does make. I actually did Pass first and now doing Kaplan. It's sad that alot of mistakes Dr.Francis made got stuck in my long term memory though. I wish I knew earlier to do Kaplan first. How did u get Kaplan to sink in though after doing Pass first. It seems like Pass sinks in more cuz it's more interesting though but they're mistakes. Have u heard of DIT? What are your thoughts on them if u have done DIT?
 

absolutjag9

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i have friends who have done dit, but after they've completed kaplan. they seem to like dr. jenkins's approach with the FA. when i first started medical school, i watched some pass and some kaplan..and then for anatomy heavily used dr. acland's videos which were of great help. however, now as i gear up to start kaplan in mid march (my school requires us to have a prep course before we take step 1), i worry that using the FA with kaplan and doing DIT after a 6-7 hr day of live lectures is too much.
 
Apr 13, 2010
253
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It's sad that alot of mistakes Dr.Francis made got stuck in my long term memory though. It seems like Pass sinks in more cuz it's more interesting though but they're mistakes.
haha...totally agree with that.

How did u get Kaplan to sink in though after doing Pass first.
I guess the answer to that is I compared the notes I made from Pass with my Kaplan notes and realized that Kaplan is more accurate, I did that a few times, but some of dr francis' stories are still in my memory :p

Ive seen a few DIT videos, they are ok, most of the stuff you will already know...I guess I cant give you a good reflection as I havent done the whole set, didnt see the point after having done Kaplan and Pass.
 

cliffsMD

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Feb 11, 2011
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@ absolutjag9 , I watched Acland as well for anatomy back in the day. He was great , I just wish he did clinical correlations when pointing out anatomical locations. ya doing kaplan at the same time as DIT would be kinda rough depending on how many weeks of kaplan you are doing. DIT goes over almost the whole book and It's a 15 day course of lectures. approx. 1 hour -1 hour 30 mins each and they tell u to do 3 a day so that would take only 4-4.5 hours so if u double it , it should take about 7 days doing 6 lectures including which would be about 8-9 hours a day. If u have a week after Kaplan u could do it then.

@bbydoc

ya I agree with u about the stories. Have u taken the Step 1 yet? So do u think Kaplan and Pass is enough? I heard that DIT goes over almost the whole FA and also adds stuff that is high yield. It can be done in 7 days. So I was thinking that it would be beneficial like as a real quick review before the exam to make sure I have everything down and maybe the rest will stay in my short term memory. I heard that their information is accurate.
 

JamesBond15

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Which Kaplan videos are you guys talking about? The 250 hours worth of video? Isn't that quite a bit much?
 
Apr 13, 2010
253
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Medical Student
Which Kaplan videos are you guys talking about? The 250 hours worth of video? Isn't that quite a bit much?
yepp, thats the one, I played most lectures at a speed of 1.5X - 2.0X, so its alright.

@cliffsMD
Im going to take step1 this summer so I wouldnt take my word for it yet, but Im convinced Kaplan and Pass is more than enough.
well, Im sure the factual information in DIT is accurate and as a quick review, if you play it at 1.5X, it would not waste too much time.
I decided to go for more qbanks instead, at this stage...for me its just more high yield to go through tons of questions.
 

cliffsMD

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Feb 11, 2011
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yepp, thats the one, I played most lectures at a speed of 1.5X - 2.0X, so its alright.

@cliffsMD
Im going to take step1 this summer so I wouldnt take my word for it yet, but Im convinced Kaplan and Pass is more than enough.
well, Im sure the factual information in DIT is accurate and as a quick review, if you play it at 1.5X, it would not waste too much time.
I decided to go for more qbanks instead, at this stage...for me its just more high yield to go through tons of questions.
thanks bbydoc , that's well put info. let me know how it goes. Wish u all the best!
 
Jul 8, 2011
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Thank you so much for your response. Can you please let me know if the advise or trick to answering questions is part of Dr. Francis's lecture video so that I will buy it or is there a section in his video that he automatically adds advice as to what the best advice is for answering questions. Thanks, MUCH!!

sure I try to give a few examples.
dr francis will tell you not to get bogged down in details when you are presented with a question, instead find out weather they are after a concept or sth specific. the other day I did 20 question on inflammation (Robbins Review of Path) and got 19 out of 20. my friend who's rank is a lot higher in medschool got a few wrong and it was rly interesting how he fell into the trap of trying to consider all the details in a question.

one of the questions:
53 year-old female, high fever with cough productive of yellowish sputum for the past 2 days, auscultation reveals crackles in both lung bases, x-ray reveals bilateral patch infiltrates.
which of the following cell types will be greatly increased in a sputum specimen?
a) macrophages
b) neutrophils
c) mast cells
d) small lymphocytes
e) langerhans giant cells

while my colleague got caught up in yellowish sputum etc, I just saw the concept acute vs chronic inflammation and picked neutrophils, thats the thinking dr francis drills in.


biochem questions:
researcher looks into antibody structures etc, looking specifically into the hinge region. which of the following amino acid is most abudnant in the hinge region leading to its flexibility?

a) Glycine
b) Leucine
c) Phenylalanine
d) Valine
e) Cysteine
f) Proline
g) Tryptophan
h) Isoleucine

A: proline (concept that proline gives any molecular structure flexibility, be it DNA, Antibody etc)


researcher looks into antibody structures etc, looking specifically into the hinge region. which of the following amino acids gives the hinge region its strength?

a) Glycine
b) Leucine
c) Phenylalanine
d) Valine
e) Cysteine
f) Proline
g) Tryptophan
h) Isoleucine

A: cysteine (concept that cysteine gives any structure strenght, hair, hormones, any type of protein)



histones are proteins that package DNA into structures called nucleosomes, which of the following amino acids is most abundant in the core histone H2B?

a) Glycine and Leucine
b) Phenylalanine and Valine
c) Lysin and Arginine
d) Cysteine and Proline

find the concept?


just imagine these 3 questions with plenty of details to confuse you and they can be formulated in thousands of ways but if you got the concept down you ignore the details.
 
Jul 4, 2011
216
3
Status
Medical Student
This is an interesting thread. I have also covered Kaplan videos (except pathology - Goljan) and Pass program and I find that the material from Pass sticks far better than either of the others. Kaplan is great - well structured and extensive. However, Pass program brings it all together.

PS bbydoc is correct on steroid hormone binding globulins and half life. This is the reason why, for example, T4 has a much longer half life than T3 - it is more extensively protein-bound.
 
Jan 5, 2011
491
3
Status
Medical Student
This is an interesting thread. I have also covered Kaplan videos (except pathology - Goljan) and Pass program and I find that the material from Pass sticks far better than either of the others. Kaplan is great - well structured and extensive. However, Pass program brings it all together.

PS bbydoc is correct on steroid hormone binding globulins and half life. This is the reason why, for example, T4 has a much longer half life than T3 - it is more extensively protein-bound.
Hey I'm going through the Kaplan 2010 videos right now but some of the ones I got off of a torrent don't work! Chapter 4 (part d) has the last video freezing 2 minutes in, Chapter 5 is missing, and Chapters 6-7 are from the older editions. Anybody else have this problem? Anybody know where to get the updated ones? Thanks in advance :)
 

futuredoctor10

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Jan 25, 2007
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Where do we get the Kaplan videos- is there any way to just buy the videos without the full course? Thanks everyone!
 
May 19, 2010
14
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Where do we get the Kaplan videos- is there any way to just buy the videos without the full course? Thanks everyone!
google:kaplan usmle step 1 torrent

imo in PP francis hypes alot, i couldnt really watch them feeling as if i was absorbing much.

kaplan is good... the pharm guy is ehh

i <3 UW
 
May 5, 2010
252
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If you just want the Kaplan videos you can buy the center prep program from Kaplan. They allow you sit in their center and watch the videos all day long for a few months.
 
May 5, 2010
252
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Status
Medical Student
Now that I'm really into studying I remembered this post. After doing Kaplan videos in certain sections and then watching Pass Program videos in the same subjects I have to agree with the above posters saying that at times there too many mistakes in Pass program.
I'm starting to get annoyed and I'm think of dropping Pass and focusing on Kaplan.
 
Jan 5, 2011
491
3
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Medical Student
Now that I'm really into studying I remembered this post. After doing Kaplan videos in certain sections and then watching Pass Program videos in the same subjects I have to agree with the above posters saying that at times there too many mistakes in Pass program.
I'm starting to get annoyed and I'm think of dropping Pass and focusing on Kaplan.
Thanks for bringing this back up. I'm still not sure about PASS program as I have access but think it might not be a good use of time. Anybody else that can chime in would be excellent?